Toyota snags Davidson, Buemi to drive TS030 at Le Mans

Toyota snags Davidson, Buemi to drive TS030 at Le Mans

February 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Motorsports , Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Toyota F1 drivers typically have a shelf life shorter than what you otherwise might call a career. As the constant stream of new, young drivers usurps existing F1 seats, you’re left with a wealth of talent available to contest other forms of motorsport. That’s how you end up with former grand prix pilots in other series like IndyCar , DTM and even ice racing . Then there’s Le Mans . Every year the most famous of endurance races packs its grid with rejects from the Formula One circus, and 2012 is no exception, particularly with Toyota launching a works effort out of the German facility that used to house its F1 team. Toyota has already confirmed that the first of its TS030 Hybrid LMP1 racers will be driven by former F1 drivers Alex Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima (along with Nicolas Lapierre), and has now announced that Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi are on the roster for the second car. Davidson is an established F1 test driver, having worked for the team known successively as BAR, Honda , Brawn and Mercedes . He’s also driven a handful of grands prix for Super Aguri and Minardi , and contested Le Mans and related series for Aston Martin Racing and Peugeot Sport , including a win at Sebring. Buemi drove the last three F1 seasons for Scuderia Toro Rosso until being cut this year. He’ll combine his endurance racing debut with his test driver role at Red Bull Racing .

Toyota reveals TS030 Hybrid endurance prototype [w/video]

Toyota reveals TS030 Hybrid endurance prototype [w/video]

January 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Coupe , Toyota , Racing The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. So, apparently, do the world’s automakers. At least, that is, when it comes to Le Mans . Case in point: the new Toyota TS030 Hybrid, the Le Mans prototype that the Japanese automaker has just revealed, mere days after Peugeot announced its departure from the endurance racing scene. Shorthand for the third Toyota Sport prototype – following the TS010 and TS020 that challenged Le Mans in the ’90s – the TS030 is the first LMP1 to employ a hybrid drivetrain. ( Peugeot was experimenting with a similar system before shutting down its program, and Audi is rumored to be testing one as well, but has yet to announce it to the public.) Toyota Hybrid System – Racing (THS-R) couples a 3.4-liter V8 to one of two potential electric motor setups: a front-mounted system developed by Aisin AW or a rear-mounted one from Denso. According to regulations, the electric boost can only drive one set of wheels, and Toyota has yet to decide which, although the 500kJ capacitor supplied by Nisshinbo is already a lock. The carbon fiber chassis, meanwhile, was developed in-house by Toyota Motorsport GmbH in Cologne, Germany – the same outfit that ran the company’s F1 team and has been looking for a new project ever since. The facility will serve as the team’s headquarters as well, from which it will field one car in its debut at the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps – the second round of the inaugural FIA World Endurance Championship – on May 5. Toyota is planning to field a second car at Le Mans in June, but while the first car’s driver roster is already confirmed , the team has yet to decide on its second line-up.

Toyota reveals TS030 Hybrid endurance prototype

Toyota reveals TS030 Hybrid endurance prototype

January 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Coupe , Toyota , Racing The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. So, apparently, do the world’s automakers. At least, that is, when it comes to Le Mans . Case in point: the new Toyota TS030 Hybrid, the Le Mans prototype that the Japanese automaker has just revealed, mere days after Peugeot announced its departure from the endurance racing scene. Shorthand for the third Toyota Sport prototype – following the TS010 and TS020 that challenged Le Mans in the ’90s – the TS030 is the first LMP1 to employ a hybrid drivetrain. ( Peugeot was experimenting with a similar system before shutting down its program, and Audi is rumored to be testing one as well, but has yet to announce it to the public.) Toyota Hybrid System – Racing (THS-R) couples a 3.4-liter V8 to one of two potential electric motor setups: a front-mounted system developed by Aisin AW or a rear-mounted one from Denso. According to regulations, the electric boost can only drive one set of wheels, and Toyota has yet to decide which, although the 500kJ capacitor supplied by Nisshinbo is already a lock. The carbon fiber chassis, meanwhile, was developed in-house by Toyota Motorsport GmbH in Cologne, Germany – the same outfit that ran the company’s F1 team and has been looking for a new project ever since. The facility will serve as the team’s headquarters as well, from which it will field one car in its debut at the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps – the second round of the inaugural FIA World Endurance Championship – on May 5. Toyota is planning to field a second car at Le Mans in June, but while the first car’s driver roster is already confirmed , the team has yet to decide on its second line-up.

Toyota releases extra tough Land Cruiser GX for Australia

Toyota releases extra tough Land Cruiser GX for Australia

November 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: SUV , Toyota , Australia , Diesel , Off-Road This Land Cruiser comes from the factory with not only the ability to ford deep water, but the intent, as well. There are many reasons to love Australia . Beautiful beaches, fantastic surfing, miles of unspoiled countryside and balmy winters all do much to stoke our appreciation of the country. We can now add the bare-bones Toyota Land Cruiser GX to that list. Toyota says that it created this particular vehicle for those customers who “tend to abuse, not just drive” their vehicles. That certainly sounds like our kind of people. The Land Cruiser GX features vinyl floor mats, vertically-hinged rear barn doors, 17-inch steel wheels and, best of all, a snorkel. Yes, this Land Cruiser comes from the factory with not only the ability to ford deep water, but the intent, as well. In addition to the aquatic equipment, the Land Cruiser GX is packed with an auxiliary fuel tank for traversing the open wastes, plenty of under-body protection and an honest-to-goodness metal key. A 4.5-liter twin-turbo V8 diesel engine sits at the heart of this beast of burden coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission with full-time four-wheel drive courtesy of a Torsen differential.

Aston Martin, Toyota CEOs swap race cars at Nürburgring

Aston Martin, Toyota CEOs swap race cars at Nürburgring

November 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Motorsports , Videos , Aston Martin , Toyota The chief executives of any two companies will inherently have something in common to share. All the more so for the CEOs of automakers, never mind how big or how small. But Akio Toyoda and Ulrich Bez share more than job descriptions. The heads of Toyota and Aston Martin also share a passion for motorsports and actively race themselves. It’s a relationship helped broker the deal to turn the Toyota iQ into the Aston Martin Cygnet . It’s one that has seen not only their teams but they themselves compete against each other in sports car racing. It’s also one that only stands to intensify next season in endurance racing when both field LMP1 racers. But before that happens, the two pencil-pushers turned hot shoes swapped cars at the N

Is this the 2012 Toyota Camry? [UPDATE]

Is this the 2012 Toyota Camry? [UPDATE]

July 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Spy Photos , Toyota , Rumormill On the heels of last week’s official 2012 Toyota Camry teaser video starring Akio Toyoda comes a new image that appears to show the full vehicle. Judging by how closely the headlamps of the car you see here resemble the ones on the red car that Mr. Toyoda was standing by, this very well may be what the all-new Camry will look like. The best-selling mid-size sedan is expected to make its official debut later this year. Buyers shouldn’t be surprised to find the proven 2.5-liter four-cylinder and 3.5-liter V6 to provide motive force, backed by six-speed automatic transmissions. If the pictures are indeed accurate, the Camry’s looks are going to to evolve slightly and pick up some Lexus -like cues. Dimensions aren’t likely to change much from the current Camry, and the quality of the interior outfitting is going to be a key point of interest. We’ll have the full details later this year. UPDATE: We’ve now received video of what appears to be the 2012 Camry being revealed to a group of Toyota dealers. Follow the jump to see the new Camry make its on-stage debut.

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